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tv   Tavis Smiley  PBS  October 30, 2012 2:30pm-3:00pm PDT

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tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. hurricane thin the is not only wreaking havoc which residents, but it has forced an awkward pause one night before the election. we have a look of the state of the race and how it has impacted the campaign schedule with jonathan martin. as polls continue to tighten, the race could boil down to not just a handful of swing states but to a handful of counties within those states. >> there is a saying dr. king had that says it is always the right thing. we know we are only about half way to defeating honker.
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region in h-- walmart committed $2 billion to fighting hunger in the u.s. as we work together, we can stamp hunger out. pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: as hurricane sandy continues to churn, our thoughts are with those who are dealing with loss of power. it has created an awkward situation with the presidential campaign just days to go. we are grateful jonathan martin joins us this evening.
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good he is the senior reporter for public ago. thank you for being here. fellowalk about the citizens impacted by this dangerous storm, your sense on how the campaigns navigate these storms. good >> it is a slow rolling reaction, starting yesterday. both campaigns have been canceling more of events, and both will be dark until at least tomorrow. i have talked with historians, trying to figure out when the campaign for president of the united states -- will
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effectively shut down while folks are voting and a week before: open nationally. it is a remarkable turn of events, and i do not think anyone knows what the outcome will be. tavis: i am a sports guy, so in any particular game, if there is something that causes a stoppage in the play, some rained out games, it always depends whether they were making a comeback. it does have an impact if they have to stop for the weather. might this be the situation politically, that one side will be harmed if they have this stoppage? >> i think that is the best
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comparison. in football or baseball you want to keep doing the same thing, and the analogy for politics, you do not want anything to interrupt that. i am trying to get beyond campaign status. 9-11 was early, but there were a couple that were at fault. 9-11 with the races at a standstill. i am not comparing the tragedy of 9-11 with the impending smith storm -- with the impending storm, but it will certainly carry on tomorrow. we are talking about three days or four days, not just before the election, but while both are being cast, and that is the biggest impact of the storm
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p. people vote a month out, a combination of absentee and early votes, and that is in effect that early voting can be interrupted. they are trying to get folks to show up early, and if they lose some days in that window, that puts more pressure on a election day. tavis: both sides have to play this the same way, so if one side shutdown, the other does, and i suppose that is the case, and it is also about symbolism and style. i know you do not want to test the temperament of the american voter. how many mayors and governors? bloomberg comes to mind, and i
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can think of others who got into trouble. >> there is a famous story about the mayor of chicago in the 1970's, who lost her election because of the response to the snowstorms. i recall her being at one of the super bowls in san diego. there is no question given the fact that voters are sick and tired of being inundated with a barrage of tv and radio ads, they are already said up with these alexian's. if they see one or two candidates acting in a way that is sensitive, that could really damage it. you are absolutely right. they are going to be careful about how to proceed, and if one steps down and goes dark, the
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others are going to be behind. >> when this storm does decide common on this race will not. everybody knows the race is tight. giving you are an insider, how tight? it may come down to counties. it is like campaigning in three different regions, so how close is this right now? >> we are talking about a few governors races in the sense that both of these are running statewide campaigns in a handful of states. ohio, virginia, iowa, colorado. that is it. that is the game. that is where they are going to be for the final five days if we do get passed this storm common
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-- pass this storm, and they are focusing on certain counties. this campaign has gotten so sophisticated, and they know what marks they have to hit, and if they do not hit those, they have no chance. you have got national polling that shows governor romney increasingly and a strong place and certainly tightening up. other polls show president obama with a slight lead. is really tough to read, and the notion has been thrown up in the air because of the storm. >> i think a split in the alleged tora college is as likely as me winning the lotto, so i do not think that is a real
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alternatives. -- a split in the electoral college is as likely as winning the lotto, so i do not think that is a real alternative. and what happens at that point? >> i think it is possible. if you look at the polls in these states, president is strong in a handful of states. it is not going to be much more than 280 or 285, and given the fact that his numbers are going to come down from where they were in 2008, he is probably not going to do as well as he did with the circumstances he had, and if you add governor romney
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and a lot of red states, there is a possibility of one candidate, probably rendezvous' anymore popular votes and greeted romney winning popular votes and obama winning electoral votes. democrats are going to immediately say we have been here before. al gore got more votes in 2000, and president bush became president. there will be a cry, but that is the nature of what we have. tavis: the only response would be that the rule is simple. he to get 270 wins. that would be the order of the day, but for all the talk about
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the closeness of the reyes said you and i just engaged in and every other american seems to be engaged in, -- closed as of the race you and i have been engaged in and every other american seems to be engaged in, i have not seen one poll that shows mr. romney is anywhere near 270. >> therein lies the challenge for governor romney. these polls show him doing well. there are more paths for president obama. governor romney has got a lock in florida. that has not happened 100%. i think governor romney has more to look for the reagan romney
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again has to win virginia. it is possible to win the presidency if you do not win virginia, but it gets tough. those are states where there has been an assumption that governor romney will go with those states. he does not have them locked in just yet, and you start to talk about ohio, wisconsin, new hampshire, and nevada, they are very favorable for the president right now. it is tough for governor romney. he has got to have a global win. it cannot just be trying to figure out some mix of states to try to get to 270. there is a final push for the country decides they are ready to hire him and fire president obama.
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tavis: we talked earlier about this notion of being careful, how you walk this tightrope when you have a storm that is vexing so much of the country, but there are some issues in this storm the obama campaign could raise. i suspect they are smart not to raise it. when a candidate says, let's get rid of fema and send the money back to the states, now is theoretically a good time to have the conversation. when a candidate says they made a mockery of global warming and climate change, another issue that could be placed on the docket. i do not know how you do that without being seen as playing politics with the storm, but are these real issues? >> they are fair game.
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they will be very reluctant to do that kind of thing. they are anxious to have this president i'd like he is president. -- act like he is president. i think that is what they are going to do, remind people he is president of the united states. we have seen it time and time again. if this storm is severe, it could be an opportunity for president obama.
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tavis: you have covered this more than i have, and with all the confidence governor romney exudes, there will come a time when reality sets in. what you make at this point of the hoover confidence mr. romney still exhibits on the campaign trail, and is that how you feel on the inside? >> after his performance in denver, he felt better. his closest advisers felt better, so i think it is a
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plausiblewhat do you make of tht
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that $2 billion is being spent on this campaign? >> we will see that in the future. it basically free of
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restrictions that were in place for some time in campaign finance. money does find a way in politics, and more folks are opening their wallet, and there is no question there has been an impact. i am not sure how much of an impact a lot of this money has had in terms of the presidential race. if you look at the number of super pacs that put money into this campaign, president obama is still winning in a lot of key states. they have been running ads for months and months. my point is there are limits to what money can do. the higher you are in the ballot, the less important money, because more people are
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involved. we go down the ballot. money matters a lot more. there is no question more money is being put into this campaign than ever a lot of rich folks think they are getting something for their investment, but i think on the presidential level it has not been all that. >> i accept the push back. >> how many ads can you be subjected to. we do not get a chance to see these. i travel around the country. i have been working on a prime- time special for pbs, so it has
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had me on the move. i am fascinated to turn on the television just so i have a chance to see the ads i have been hearing about. all we hear in california is the sound of a hoover vacuum sucking money out of california. at a certain point it reaches diminished returns, because people can all play -- can only see so many as so many times, but will we get to a place where the american public will be outraged by the amount of money we are spending, and might we see a day where we say, we are changing the rules. we can only campaign for a three-month time. these are too much.
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>> i hate to be cynical, but i am skeptical. they were writing the laws. good politicians act on a self interest and what the public demands. one fast point, you mentioned california, and that is where campaign finance matters. most people have a strong view about president obama or mitt romney. where this really has an impact is local but also on state emissions. california has all kinds of stuff on the balanced, because if you have got more money than your opponent, you could win.
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tavis: joe biden has apparently written a tell-all, and i am told it is not a flattering picture he paints of the vice president. i do not know if that would have any impact. the question is what kind of nose itches -- what kind of buzz is generated. it >> if an idealistic young american comes to washington to change things, but washington changes him. in the process of explaining his story, he takes after his former boss, joe biden, and portrays joe biden in a negative light. it is also a scathing indictment of how washington politics works and how both parties will relate
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to the business community who. this gentleman also places a pretty broad indictment on both parties in terms of how they .elate to wall street triggere tavis: will the republicans hold onto the house? i was just in my home state of indiana, and mr. murdoch has put his foot in his mouth again, and that is a tight race, but will the democrats hold on to the senate and the republicans hold on to the house? >> the gop is almost certainly going to hold on to the house. it is really an open question on the senate, but i think democrats are in a much better spot than they would have been a year ago because of the
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combination of factors. if it is possible harry reid and the democrats could keep a narrow majority of two votes or even one vote. i think the key is to watch what happens at the presidential level. a handful of races are going to turn what happened on the top of the ticket, and if obama is pulling out a narrow victory, that could help democrats. tavis: the labour party is considering delaying because of her regain -- of hurricane sandy. i could argue both ways. depending on whether the numbers are good or bad, should they
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delay? >> they work for the taxpayers, but there is no question of conspiracy maundering. >> we will see what happens. then't you get out of message that creates. thanks for your time. good to have you. see you next time. today's show, visit tavis smiley at tavis: hi, i'm tavis smiley. join me next time for a look at the role of the latino vote this election plus the r&b artist. that is next time. we will see you then. i try to live my life every day
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by doing the right thing. we know that we are only halfway to completely eliminating hunger and we have work to do. walmart committed $2 billion to fighting hunger in the u.s. as we work together, we can stamp hunger out. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> be more. >> be more. pbs. pbs.
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